Pentagon Spent $504,816 on Viagra Last Year

The Department of Defense (DoD) spent more than a half a million dollars on the male enhancement drug Viagra last year, according to government contracts.

The Pentagon issued 60 contracts worth $504,816 for the drug in 2014. All 60 contracts were awarded to Cardinal Health Inc., a pharmaceutical distribution company based in Dublin, Ohio.

Last year DoD also ordered $3,505 worth of Levitra, and $14,540 of Cialis, other popular erectile dysfunction drugs.

The contracts were filed under “Troop Support.”

DoD began offering Viagra to soldiers as a medical benefit in 1998, when the drug cost $10 a pill. Due to inflation, one pill now costs $25. At the time the military’s policy only allowed for six pills a month per patient, and the DoD said they would “not replace lost or stolen pills.”

“Defense guidelines allow military physicians to prescribe Viagra only after a thorough evaluation indicates the medication as the optimal regimen for the patient,” a release outlining the Pentagon’s policy said. “Patients prescribed Viagra also receive careful guidelines for taking the medication. According to defense health officials, Viagra side effects may include headaches, flushing of the face or chest, indigestion, nasal congestion and mild vision impairment.”